Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few days outside of Kingston the city, and was in Ocho Rios which is what they call “the country” here on the island. Most places outside of Kingston is generally labelled as ” the country, he or she is from the country”
I have never been particularly fond of Ocho Rios, mainly because I have often felt that I am hassled far to often by men as I walk through the streets. To make matters worst, about three weeks ago there was an article in the Sunday newspaper discussing the exact topic, about men hassling the tourist on the streets. Something needs to be done about it, is what the article concluded.
Jamaica wants to succeed in branding itself as a sort after tourist destination, and the tourist board realizes, that the locals living in the tourist towns who attempt to sell goods or services, will need some sensitivity training on how to approach potential customers/ clients.What can be done is the a real ongoing question.
So last week while doing some banking etc. in Ocho Rios, I was approached by about five different men in less than 10mins. offering me everything thing but the kitchen sink. The sentences are as such;
“Queen, yuh wah ahh taxi” ( Do you want a taxi)
“Yuh wah Ganja” (Do you want Ganga-weed)
“Yuh want ahh man, if not now mummy then maybe lata” ( would you like me to get you a man, if not for now honey, maybe for later)
I was amazed and walked to my car shacking my head. While these men may think it’s appropriate behavior the tourist may not think so is my point….
Women moving to this soil, will need to quickly adapt and navigate these types of behaviors. You may initially find these sentences inappropriate or disrespectful and you could choose to be miserable, but learning to ignore the tirade is perhaps best. I generally smile and say ” no thanks” as firmly as I can…. or “no thanks Sir” or ” no thanks Big Chief” anything to throw them off and bring laughter. All this is done while briskly walking away, but I’ve have found that laughter can generally diffuse these characters.
I read an article today that supported my ideas about how some of the local men speak to women on the streets. I was not wearing anything tight or clingy was my immediate thought, so why this trouble;
A Jamaica woman shares her own ideas on the given topic : “http://www.jamaicans.com”
Lyrics-De Jamaican Way
By Darnatz Darnatz
Published Apr 4, 2011
I have always been amazed at how bold, bright, brazen and bumptious our Jamaican men are when it comes to dropping lyrics. I am convinced that the things that women have to endure from some of these men happen only in Jamaica.
Now if you thought I was talking about the regular “browning”, “empress or “my size” that some men use to get a woman’s attention, then you would be wrong. I am talking about those men who are actually convinced that they have what it takes to make a woman give them their number. What makes it even more ridiculous is that when you look at the type of man calling to some of these well-put-together women yuh jus waan pap up, cause nowhere inna him wildest dream would she even give him the time of day, but does he care.
One of my earliest experiences was at the tender age of sixteen when I was keen on showing my “belly-skin” and was proud of the fact that it was cute. Now here I was walking in Half Way Tree minding my own business when a man comes up to me and says, “Bwai baby, mi woulda drink some rum outta yuh navel enuh”. Can you imagine the horror? Not only was I embarrassed but I was also furious because even if I were going to engage in any romantic liaisons, I sure would not want anyone to drink rum from my navel. I wondered couldn’t he had said wine or some other drink, but rum-so not sexy. But then again, rum is the choice drink of many Jamaican men, so he was simply staying in familiar territory.
I thought that things couldn’t get any worse, but over the years men have said some things to me that have made me blush and I sure could not repeat them here for fear of making yuh eyelash curl up-so mi ago keep it PG-16.
Gotta luv the Island….
Some years ago I was at Hellshire, relaxing and trying to complete a chapter for my upcoming exams when a man who sells fish and festival came over to me and said “Babes, mi a watch yuh from ova dey so. How you do? I quickly mumbled “I’m okay” hoping that he would get the message and leave me alone. But he was persistent. Next thing I know missa man is telling me “yuh know seh mi can tek care a yuh. Is a man like me yuh want inna yuh life”. For the first time, I took a good look at him and it was all I could do from laughing out loud. I wondered if he intended to maintain me on the money he made from his livelihood, cause my studies no come cheap. He also didn’t seem put off by the fact that I was married and that my husband was swimming a few feet away. He even suggested that he could be the ‘man pan di side’ and kept insisting that he was the right man for me. Now can you imagine me exchanging my good good husband fi him-no sah. Eventually, I had to let him down easy and I just silently laughed at the episode.
If that weren’t bad enough, I made the mistake of going out in the front yard in a very short shorts some time ago and almost immediately a man named Blacka who has no abiding city and who literally hangs around construction sites in the hope of getting a job walked by and said “Psst, sexy-yuh look good enuh. A shoulda you a my ooman”. I began to cringe because Blacka no stay prappa yuh nuh and I wondered if that was the kind of man I was attracting. Yuh know seh mi go in go tek off di shorts caah mi couldn’t tek another lecherous soul like Blacka lusting afta mi. But later when I had some time to think it over I realized that Blacka was just one of many as there are many Jamaican men who nuh have dry trash inna dem name but believe that they can get any Miss World. I applaud their ambition.
Enough about me though, here are a few of the things that have been said to some of my girlfriends.
“Yuh machine look good”
“Baby yuh know seh mi spirit tek yuh”
“Mi would gi yuh a bwai pickney now”-so romantic
“Yuh chassy set good enuh”
Anyway, the stories are never-ending and could fill a book, so mi ago lef some fi lata. Tek care till next time.